Ernest and Mariana Anderson of Sulphur, owners of Powerhouse Commercial Contstruction, have been arrested and charged with roughly $230,000 in fraudulent billing by overcharging.

According to detectives investigating the case, the couple was managing a construction job on 5th Avenue and overbilling for the work done there. Investigators say that while the terms of the project called for on the job was vendor cost plus 10%, but the Andersons were allegedly charging more than the actual vendor cost and tacking on a 10% fee.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office began investigating the complaint regarding Powerhouse Commercial Construction on Feb. 11, 2016, said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, Kim Myers. Powerhouse is owned and operated by Ernest Anderson, 50, and Mariana Anderson, 57.

During the investigation detectives learned the Andersons were managing a construction job on 5th Avenue in Lake Charles and had been overbilling the victim's company, Myers said. The investigation revealed the terms agreed upon for the construction job were vendor cost plus a 10 percent fee, but the Andersons would charge more than the actual vendor cost, then create fraudulent invoices, add the 10 percent fee and submit it for payment to the victim.

According to CPSO spokeswoman, Kim Meyers, the investigation lead to an indictment by the Calcasieu Parish Grand Jury back on the 2nd of the month. The couple was arrested and charged the following day and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center. The couple has been charged with theft of over $25,000. Both are now free on a $5,000 bond set by Judge Thomas Quirk.


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